If you are HIV positive, choosing who to tell can be a difficult decision and it's important to think about how different people may react to being told that you have been diagnosed with HIV.
You may feel like telling people soon after you receive your HIV diagnosis - but remember that once you’ve told someone you can’t ‘un-tell’ them.
It is important to think about how different people may react to being told that you have been diagnosed with HIV. Things to think about include:
Telling someone that you have HIV can be a very positive experience and will hopefully mean that you have someone to offer you support.
But you have to be prepared for different reactions. Some people may become upset at your news, especially if they don’t know much about HIV. It might be useful to have some basic information to hand for them to look at and provide reassurance, such as Understanding HIV published by Terrence Higgins Trust or The Basics range published by NAM. Once people realise you can lead a normal life with HIV, they may be better able to support you.
Unfortunately some people may not react in the way you hope and may be unkind or discriminatory. If this happens there is support available to you such as counselling or support groups.
Before telling people it can be helpful to talk it over with a healthcare professional at your clinic.
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This article was last reviewed on
by Anna Peters
Date due for the next review: 9/3/2018
Content Author: Kerri Virani
Current Owner: Health Trainers
Telling people you are HIV positive, NAM aidsmap
Various people talk about their experiences of living with HIV.
GMFA - Gay Men Fighting AIDS
Age UK LGBT Page
HIV Drug Interactions
George House Trust
Equality and Human Rights Commission
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